Rock and Roll Nightmare
Reviewed by Mike Mosher
Wednesday, April 12 2000, 7:50 PM
Is this band from L.A.? Thought so. There is something very Angeleno in its skillful balls-to-the-wall attack. Some of this is frenetic moshpit L.A. punk like early Black Flag or those first flash-fire bands on Tommy Boy Records before it became a hip-hop label. Much of it is big-guitar menacing California metal, pitting them as a faster and more energized scion of Metallica and Megadeth, and at certain moments a humorless Motley Crüe, with a hint of later Social Distortion. "Time," a prison lament that might get a favorable nod from Johnny Cash, begins with a rockabilly intro as restrained as Chris Isaak. Variety is a saving grace that keeps Los Infernos' dense, crunching sound from being suffocating.
At their best, Los Infernos evoked someone I hadn't thought of in years, Los Illegals, the driving and politically-savvy early eighties LA band that included muralist Willie Herron and had some powerful tunes about La Migra, the city of angels and the police helicopters overhead. At their worst? One hesitates at telling a hard-playing, competent organization like Los Infernos "I wish you were smarter," but some rudimentary political consciousness to inform this potentially powerful band could really take them to the next level. They express rage and angst forcefully, but I don't think the world needs another song like "Dead and Gone" about giving that girl strychnine, so when her body's in a ditch he can go through her purse.
Rock and Roll Nightmare is an Alternative Tentacles release